John Smith’s to get a ‘real’ face

Scottish Courage is dropping its two-dimensional “No Nonsense Man” John Smith’s beer campaign and going back to a human spokesman, as part of a &£20m marketing investment in the brand.

Northern stand-up comedian Peter Kay becomes the first real person to front John Smith’s advertising since the campaign featuring morose comic Jack Dee, which was dropped in 1998 after seven years.

TV advertising featuring Kay will debut during the Champions League Final on May 15, with an ad showing young footballers practising their skills – all except for Kay, who boots the ball into a neighbouring garden and opens a can of John Smith’s.

Other executions show Kay attempting to console his young daughter after she has a nightmare, and trying to convince his 55-year-old mother to move into an old people’s home so he can put a snooker table in her bedroom. The ads were created by TBWA/London also responsible for the Jack Dee campaign, with media planning and buying through MediaVest.

A spokesman for Scottish Courage says Kay epitomises the John Smith’s “no-nonsense” values cardboard cut-out brand icon, adding, “there’s a lot of warmth to him”.

Kay has won a number of comedy awards, including the Northwest Comedian of the Year 1997.

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